The competences of the Science Ground Segment, for an ESA science mission, include: science operations planning,
science instrument handling, data reception and processing, and archiving as well as providing science support. This
paper presents a generic documentation structure applicable during the analysis, definition, implementation and
operational phases of an ESA Science Ground Segment.
This is the conclusion of the analysis performed in the scope of the current ESAC Science Ground Segment
developments and is derived from the experience of previous ESA science missions and the ESA standardization efforts
(ECSS Standards). It provides a guideline to support the Science Ground Segment documentation processes during all
mission phases; representing a new approach for the development of future ESA science missions, and providing an
initial documentation structure that might be tailored depending on the specific scientific, engineering and managerial
characteristics of each mission. This paper also describes the process followed to produce the generic documentation tree
and how the development and operations experience feedback in the updated versions of this generic documentation tree.